Glenn Perry Jazz Concert in Goa at Maquinez Palace auditorium on 18th August, 2012 8pm
From Times of India, Goa (16/8/12)
Glenn Perry to 'jazz' up Goa this Saturday
Two years ago, life came to a halt in Haiti. When the 7.0-magnitude quake struck the Caribbean nation, the conscience of the world shook with it. Around that time, forty-something Glenn Perry was with his beloved guitar in New York, doing what he usually does-writing songs, recording and producing them. From the Atlantic, humanity beckoned, and the jazzman didn't say no. Music, his first love and inheritance, would have to wait. He took off immediately-Destination Haiti. Structures still brittle, Mother Nature wasn't quite done yet. That realization dawned on Perry like a brick, as he lay beneath the rubble of a building which collapsed on him. When he emerged from the quagmire of concrete and dust, he was partially paralyzed, his playing hand the main casualty. Without it, his orange and black, custom-crafted electric guitar was forced to retreat into a box.
Two years later, it will reunite with its master in the land of his birth. Glenn, who is the elder son and a staunch disciple of Goa's jazz & tiatr colossus Chris Perry, will lead a quartet comprising his brothers Miles and Giles, as well as a Dutch trumpeter, in Panaji on Saturday. This will be his first concert in Goa, a place where his stature still pales before that of his legendary father.
Glenn Perry is known for his MTV hits 'Laila', 'Tonight', and 'I'll keep on loving you', but is quick to add that those (pop) days are behind him. "The concert will exclusively feature classical jazz," he told TOI. In life, that's the first genre he encountered. While his childhood friends crawled and bawled to Yankee Doodle, he was immersed in the trumpets of Miles Davis, the blistering keys of Chick Corea, and the reedy sax melodies of Charlie Parker. The consequence? At two, he was already exploring his home piano's black and white territory.
Years later, the names he saw and heard so much about made it to his own albums. When he released Reincarnation in 2006, he had Dave Weckl, Eric Marienthal and Bunny Brunel (all of whom were associated with Chick Corea) with him. His second record, Nostalgia, boasted the likes of Lenny White (of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew fame) and Ron Carter (also a Davis man, and perhaps the most recorded bassist in jazz history).
When it comes to inspiration, though, none of the maestros he's played with can match his father. One needs only to utter the name, and the superlatives come flying thicker and faster than an Yngwie Malmsteen arpeggio. "To me, he was the greatest musician in the world," he says of Chris Perry. "He didn't need a piano to compose. He did it all mentally; the piano was in his head." Greeted with a very skeptical look, he justifies-"God put certain people in certain parts of the world: Mozart, Bach and Beethoven in Europe, and Chris Perry in Goa." For most of those who have experienced the magic of Goa's Mozart, disagreeing with Glenn is not an option.
Today, Glenn Perry is not all about his guitar, and deconstructing him is no easy task. He lives in a bigamous relationship with music and "peace activism", and is quite unsure about which spouse he loves more. "My heart is in the slums," he confesses. The shift from full-time music to activism started around 2002, when Chris Perry passed away. Following Saturday's concert, he will fly off to help out in the Philippines, where floods have wreaked havoc, just as he's done in several other countries when tragedies had befallen their shores.
In happier times, he spreads music in slums. "I want to give back to the world the way I got from the world," he says. With this in mind, he's set up 20 music centres around the world. "I've given them instruments and provided them teachers." He hopes the kids he helps can one day be stars. "A centre in India, too, is on the way," he adds.
He may be an established musician in his own right, but by virtue of being Chris Perry's son, one question is inevitable-that of his disinterest in Konkani music. "I've known my dad as a jazz musician," he clarifies immediately. "I've got my experience playing with him, and he's my mentor."
Why, then, isn't Glenn Perry recording a Konkani album? The answer isn't forthcoming. He's silent for a moment, and then the diplomat in him comes to the fore -"When the time is right, I won't stop myself," he says.
(The Glenn Perry Jazz Band will perform at the ESG Auditorium in Panaji on Saturday, August 18)
Some pics from the Goa Show
the Bandwith Glenn, Miles, Giles and Marten Visser (Sax)
Miles and Martenhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/joegoauk57/7814110640/in/photostream/
Video 1 (Meet Chris Perry's Sons - Glenn, Miles and Giles)
Emperor of Konkani Music and Songs
Miles & Giles singing when kids